Dani Girl

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - March 07, 2008
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The 411

It's About Time

A seasoned artist in the music industry lending her abilities to numerous compilations, group albums, performances and songs, Dani Girl Waring has outdone herself with the release of her first solo album, It’s About Time.

And for her many fans, it definitely is about time. “So many people have told me that I really need to do something with my talent and not let it go to waste, and I sat on it and sat on it,” says Dani. “My manager, Karey Oura (of Island Soul Entertainment), she told me one day that I have to do this, and I was like, OK, because I trust her.”

An integral part of the close-knit Hana, Maui, community, Dani has spent her entire life surrounded by music. It’s a talent gifted and ingrained within her that she says may have fine-tuned itself after years of playing for friends and family.

“I was raised in Hana and the population there never changed - there’s about 2,500 to 3,000 people and you’re related to almost all of them,“says the ‘96 Hana High School graduate who was once a member of the group Ho’omau. “And music is the most important part of the community, and they’ve taught me all I know. Singing is fun, and music has just been there and I haven’t actually really pursued it.”

The album features 12 tracks, many of which were written by her longtime friends Vernon Kapua’ala and Poncho Ho’opai. The song list includes: Crush On You, Give Me That Touch, I Don’t Wanna Wake, Fed Up, Meeting In The Ladies Room,You And I, Gotta Let You Go, More Than Anyone Deserves, Without You, You’re All That I Need, More Than Anyone Deserves (a cappella), and You And I (radio mix).

The album is described as a personal journey through life, love and soul searching as a blend of R&B, reggae and gospel. Dani further explains that, “the album shows the good side and the fun-loving person that I am, and it shows also the hardship that people go through during life - love lost and loving hard - and I think anyone can relate to it.”

As for her voice? Dani admits that as unique as her voice is, she has a slight habit of re-creating the artist’s sound when she sings covers. For example, “If you give me an Alicia Keys’ song, I’m going to make sure I sound exactly like it.”

To find out more about this born-and-raised Maui girl, visit www.myspace.com/mydanimusic


Tuning In

Lou Benanto, Rachel Gonzales and Les Peetz
Lou Benanto, Rachel Gonzales and Les Peetz

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of musicians have passed through Hawaii Public Radio’s Atherton studio, and this weekend three familiar talents will be back for an encore performance, “The Great American Songbook 2.”

Their first performance, “The Great American Songbook,“with Rachel Gonzales on vocals, Les Peetz on piano and Lou Benanto on bass, was such a success last year that they have been invited back. This time they’re jazzing it up with all new material and their own individualistic qualities.

“We’re all essentially jazz musicians, but we’re taking a lot of left turns because you can get away with that at HPR,” says Peetz. “It will include jazz standards, folk tunes, free improvisations, bossa novas and anything else that may pop into our heads.We’ve worked together for a number of years, both commercially and in concert. The concert venue gives us a chance to really stretch out and experiment, which is a rare thing in the music world these days.”

Gonzales adds, “We call it “Great American Songbook “because it covers a large time period with jazz as the link. It’s whatever we like, and we just kind of put together material that we pull from anywhere.”

The performance is Saturday, March 8, at Hawaii Public Radio’s Atherton Performing Arts Studio, 738 Kaheka St., at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20 general, $17.50 HPR members, and $10 for students. To reserve a seat, call 955-8821.

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